minibus

PSV Sector Wants $2.50

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Michael Lashley, Minister of Transport

Michael Lashley, Minister of Transport

PUBLIC TRANSPORT could be disrupted from as early as 6 a.m. on Monday as some public service vehicle (PSV) operators threaten to pull their vans off the roads – Nation Newspaper 15 September 2015

Dear Mr. Raphael,

[…]

I do not think that you are in a position to “demand” or “insist” upon Government raising the bus fare to $2.50. The reason for this is that we do NOT reward indiscipline nor bad behaviour. Why should the hardworking taxpayers of this country – who are more heavily laden with taxes than an ox – pay you fifty cents more per trip? Do you need more money so that your drivers/conductors will have a better account to lean back on when the fines come?

The drivers of minibuses/ZR vans have been terrorizing the other road users of this country for eons now, and it is high time that they pay their rightful dues when they go before the courts. For too long have they been getting away with slaps on their wrists when they come before the said courts. If they would adhere to the regulations under which they work, they would not have to worry whether the fine will be heavy or not, But, they drive the length and breadth of our country bullying other road users.

The worst thing is when they dead stop in front of a truck or Transport Board – with the latter being the more vulnerable as passengers have to scramble for somewhere to hold onto when the bus has to make a panic stop. They dead stop when they see some female strolling down some road – even if she is at the top – and she continues to style down the road taking her cool time, because she knows that he will wait if he wants her $2. So, he waits there holding up traffic while the lady wastes other people’s time. They are mostly go-as-you-please – anywhere they like, any time they like, if they like. They drive the wrong way on one-way streets when it suits them – e.g. if one of their peers tell them per mobile where the police is. They drive through people’s parking lots when they feel it will give them an advantage over other road users as they must be the only ones who do not have any time to spare. Sometimes they are racing each other to get to their destinations, and other times they are crawling along and hindering the flow of traffic.

They have been given what I call a semi-uniform, and they have only worn it on the day when the Minister visited them in the River Terminal. Now one sees them in shirts which have more colours than Joseph’s coat. They have reverted to wearing slippers, because they are drivers/conductors who do not have to adhere to the rules and regulations of the road and any others which pertain to them, being part of the crew of that vehicle. One guy is complaining that he was fined $800 for wearing slippers, because something was wrong with his foot prohibiting him from wearing shoes!

I say that it is his own fault, because he did not use his common sense. That would have told him to get a note from the doctor and keep it with him in case he was stopped by the police. Surely, he didn’t expect the police to believe him when he said that something was wrong with his foot!

Ignorance is no excuse to the law.

On the other hand, and more importantly, we have commuters who have to pay four bus fares to get to/from work. Do you think, Mr. Raphael, that those persons should be burdened with an extra $2 per day just to uphold the indiscipline and bad behaviour of your drivers/conductors? If we take it that a person works five days per week, that’s an extra $10 which he/she has to find every week. That person will have bills, mortgages, rent to pay and cannot afford another tax on the meagre sum he/she is now getting.

I will not hold my breath on what you say will happen when GPS is installed in all vehicles. GPS will probably only tell you if the van/bus is on its legal route or off, but not if it has stopped or where it has stopped!

Will it tell you if the van stopped at the bottom of a road to wait for a damsel in distress who can’t walk too fast, and so traffic is held up unnecessarily?

Every law with which any government has tried to impart some kind of discipline into the ranks of your drivers/conductors has been adhered to for a brief period, but then it has been flouted with impunity thereafter. I don’t believe that your GPS will solve the problems for ever because one of the drivers/conductors will find a way of getting around it or disabling it. We need to see it work as it should for at least one year or more!

What is that about having different stickers for the good and the bad placed on the vans?

Wouldn’t it be better to pull the bad out of circulation?

A leopard can’t change its spots!

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68 Comments on “PSV Sector Wants $2.50”

  1. Gabriel September 21, 2015 at 10:02 AM #

    Elections on the way for sure.The renaming has begun.Ronald Jones will soon start renaming schools.The McDonald Blenman highway!Phew,that’s a mouthful.Man call it Grynner highway man.And so down and down we go…where it will stop only Moody’s know.

    Like

  2. Prodigal Son September 21, 2015 at 10:30 AM #

    Dems are always taking credit for things they did not build.

    Errol Barrow vehemently opposed the airport to west coast highway and the first thing the dems did when the came to power is to stick Errol Barrow name on it. The highway was supposed to be four lanes and after the opposition by Barrow, Tom Adams backed down…..and look what it cost Barbados years later. Backward thinking DLP always.

    Nothing galls me more than the naming of the Boardwalk after Richie Haynes. I blame the BLP for not naming it after one of their stalwarts before they demitted office.

    Ronald Jones wanted to name Christ Church Girls School after Enid Lynch…………well, after the outcry, he seemed to have backed down. I can tell you for sure that if Enid Lynch had her way, not one child from that school would have entered Foundation gates……
    she hated the children from there. It would have been a burning shame especially since there were excellent past principals of Christ Church Girls who would have deserved the honour.

    Dems are such morons!

    Like

  3. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 11:02 AM #

    To use the indiscipline exhibited by of some private PSV operators as a basis not to increase bus fare or allow market forces to determine the “real cost of travel” is somewhat ludicrous, especially taking into consideration the following:

    1) Government subsidizes Transport Board bus fares to reflect the real cost of travel; PSV operators are not paid subsidies;

    2) Transport Board is providing a SOCIAL SERVICE; PSV operation is a BUSINESS VENTURE;

    3) Taxes are used to finance the high cost of TB operating expenses; high cost of private PSV operating expenses are deducted from revenue, savings or loans.

    4) In the case of TB, if operating costs exceeds the annual grant at any point in time during the financial year, the TB can apply for a supplemental vote from the Ministry of Transport, which would get the additional money from the consolidated fund.

    Private PSV operators do not have such facilities; hence additional funds have to come from loans or savings.

    5) What are the terms and conditions of employment that, as well as other inadequacies in the system that contribute to private PSV drivers and conductors having to break traffic laws to earn a living, as opposed to TB drivers who are paid predetermined wages (and in some cases are just as guilty of breaking traffic laws as well).

    In the other Caribbean islands bus fare varies according to the distance travelled. For example, a Vincentian that lives in Georgetown but works in Kingstown, has to pay $7 each way ($14 per day). But an individual who lives in Sion Hill or Arnos Vale and works in the city would pay $1.50 each way or $3.00 per day.

    Vincentians are “hardworking taxpayers who are also more heavily laden with taxes” and “have bills, mortgages, rent to pay and cannot afford another tax on the meager sum he/she is now getting,” which in many cases is much less that what Barbadians earn. Yet, they have to make an adjustment.

    In reality, we have a situation in Barbados where, especially in this current economic environment, choices have to be made.

    Barbadians will either have to endure a hike in bus fares to reflect market prices OR endure an increase in taxes for the continual subsidization of bus fares.

    Otherwise, government would have to develop a public/private sector partnership with the PSV operators that would be beneficial to those operators, government and Barbadians.

    Like

  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine September 21, 2015 at 11:42 AM #

    @Artaxerxes

    In total agreement only if the sector was not 90% owned by prominent persons. I would agree on the basis that the decision smacks with nothing but biased towards the PSV sector. We all are very much aware of their nonsense and indiscipline driving practices, but there must be grounds for saying no. I do not once believe that whatever subsidies and government concessions meted towards government operated public transport should be one of the reasons for giving this sector a fare hike. Since one is government owned and the other private, I believe that the PSV sector should not be subjected to the price controls of government but allowed to make their own fares base on a service that should be next to none. If the government is going to control who get concessions, subsidies and other perks they should not be in control of the pricing structures of Private Service Vehicles that must drive on our roads dangerously in order to meet the §400.00 a day quota and then hustle thereafter for their livelihood. Let the commuter choose which of the two they deem price worthy. The psychology behind it all is that if the PSV charge too high a fare they will lose business and transport board will benefit from the fall out. The other side is that if they improve their service and provide comfort and relaxation for the commuter, their increase fairs might just not be a bother to the traveling public. Its a catch 22 but I think it makes sense to let them charge whatever fares they deem reasonable.

    Like

  5. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 11:57 AM #

    @Togetherness September 20, 2015 at 11:46 PM “The ZR operators are as feared as the gunmen who threaten the society. When there is verifiable changes back to normal human behavior exhibited by ZRs they can return to argue their case. Until then the police must arrest them when they break the law with impunity and the courts must fine and jail them to the fullest extent.”

    Dear togetherness:

    Either you don’t know what you are writing about or you are lying. I’ve taken ZR’s virtually everyday since February 1999 and the situation is not as you say.

    If the government wants to do something they can use the tax money they collect from ZR owners, operators and ZR passengers to provide covered bus terminals, with toilets and with soap and with toilet paper for the operators and their passengers. We provide such facilities at the airport don’t we? Why not in the ZR stands? The government can then add bus shelters along the road. The government can provide training for all public service vehicle operators. We pay for the extensive education/training of our lawyer/political class don’t we? So why not for ZR operators? The government can tie licensing to training, as in if an owner/driver/conductor does not take the training he does not get a license. The government can provide covered garbage bins in all ZR stands. We provide covered garbage bins at the airports don’t we?

    If you want more ideas ask me since I’ve taken the ZR’s virtually everyday for a generation and the situation is not as you write. In the past 16 1/2 years I’ve witnessed a single act of violence, which was when a woman apparently a ZR conductor’s girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, entered the van, drew a knife and tried to stab him to death while he was doing his work. We talk about young men failing and about young men who don’t work or won’t work. And yet I doubt that anybody can show me a group of young men in Barbados who are more hard working than ZR operators.

    This is The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

    Like

  6. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM #

    @Anthony Davis “They have been given what I call a semi-uniform, and they have only worn it on the day when the Minister visited them in the River Terminal. Now one sees them in shirts which have more colours than Joseph’s coat.”

    If I was a ZR operator I would not wear that hot 100% polyester shirt either. The material is entirely unsuitable for people working in 30+ degree heat and 100% humidity.

    Why can’t the ZR operators wear a plain white cheap 100% cotton t-shirt. Neat, cool, cheap, comfortable, easy to launder, no ironing required. 7 shirts at $30 each would cost $210 and the driver/conductor can get a year’s worth of wear out of those shirts. And 100% cotton is fully recyclable so at the end of the year the shirts can get another life as cleaning rags.

    Why don’t we Bajans like simple solutions?

    Like

  7. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 12:14 PM #

    As for the $2.50 busfare I don’t know as I haven’t done the numbers. Has anybody done the numbers? But if the government does not wish to raise busfares perhaps the government can lower taxes on the PSV sector.

    Like

  8. SuckaBubby September 21, 2015 at 12:26 PM #

    PSV behave as though they operate to make a loss on purpose.Wasting petrol , destroying vans with stupid habits , unnecessary fines.Maybe they should concentrate on efficiency first to justify a fare increase

    Like

  9. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 12:35 PM #

    @Anthony David “One guy is complaining that he was fined $800 for wearing slippers, because something was wrong with his foot prohibiting him from wearing shoes! I say that it is his own fault, because he did not use his common sense. That would have told him to get a note from the doctor and keep it with him in case he was stopped by the police.”

    This is nonsense.

    FACT: Most of us do not go to the doctor for relatively minor, self healing injuries. We endure the discomfort for a few days. Most of us who are diligent workers go to work with minor injuries and sicknesses.

    Even while the police do not have to play doctor.

    FACT: It is the magistrates responsibility to do justice. And part of doing justice is ascertaining whether or not the person before him is telling the truth about an injury or illness and to request a medical certificate if he the magistrate needs medical verification.

    So no it was not the operator’s fault if he has suffered an $800 injustice.

    Like

  10. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 12:37 PM #

    I agree with your general comments, but not necessarily with your assessment that the private PSV sector is “90% owned by prominent persons.”

    Some PSV operators have expressed concerned about the number of private PSV permits granted to the Indian community, especially since Abdul Pandor became Chairman of the Transport Authority.

    Pandor, who is a former DLP candidate for the City of Bridgetown, is also a Consultant Engineer in the Ministry of Transport & Works. But this is a topic for another discussion.

    It is alleged that the Indians owners are the first people to institute the “quota arrangement.”
    But the important question that must be asked is whether government has a legal authority to legislate the terms and conditions of employment as a means of preventing “rebelling,” speeding and driving “dangerously in order to meet the $400.00 a day quota and then hustle thereafter for their livelihood.”

    The Transport Authority and police should, as a matter of urgency, also enforce the laws to prevent activities such as “dragging” and other methods used by PSV operators to obstruct the free flow of traffic.

    Like

  11. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 12:47 PM #

    @ “$400.00 a day quota.”

    And what is this $400 per day quota based on. Has anybody counted the numbers of paying passengers who board ZR vans each day?

    Perhaps licenses should only be issued to people who are actually going to drive their own vans.

    Absentee landlords and absentee owners tend to lead to really bad situations. Because we have an owner who does very little of the work and get expects to make a very good living. Then we have workers who spend their whole lives working very very hard for way too little money.

    If the Indian/Muslim community has instituted the $400 per day quota they should remember that Allah demands that others be treated justly and that this justice does not apply just to those who are Muslim. The Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him preached justice. If If the Indian/Muslim community are treating their workers unjustly they make a lot of money but they will never enter Paradise.

    Like

  12. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 12:53 PM #

    Allah said:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

    O you who believe, be persistently standing firm for Allah as witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just, for that is nearer to righteousness. Fear Allah, for verily, ALLAH IA AWARE OF WHAT YOU DO..

    Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:8

    Like

  13. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 1:51 PM #

    Is it a bit presumptuous to assume that ALL Indians are of the Muslim faith?

    Owners of PSVs, such as route taxis, taxis (Z, ZM) and mini-buses (B) have a “rule” whereby drivers must give them a specific amount money per day, and after money for diesel is deducted, the remainder is divided between the driver and conductor accordingly.

    Some owners request between $400 to $500 per day. I used to provide bookkeeping services for an owner of a PSV whose payment plan was revenue from Monday to Thursday belonged to him and the revenue for Fridays and Saturdays was distributed between the driver and conductor.

    Take for example a ZR driver plying a route such as Silver Sands, where market saturation is evident, (i.e. the market is no longer generating a new demand for the service) and is required to pay the owner $400 per day.

    Unfortunately, this driver, like many others plying this route, is faced with a significant “high level” of competition from numerous other ZRs plying the Silver Sands and the newly introduced Route 3D, (which goes to the Airport), mini buses and to a certain extent, Transport Board buses.
    During the peak periods, he is also confronted with bumper to bumper traffic on his way to Silver Sands or to Bridgetown. He also has to contend with people who prefer to catch TB buses and periods when “passenger traffic” is slow.

    How does he solve these problems to remain competitive? He speeds or drives recklessly; travels through parking lots, one way streets or divert from the stipulated route; overloads and stops at areas other than bus stops. The driver displays this indiscipline all in an effort to keep ahead of his competitors, to solicit has many passengers as he possibly can, to be able to meet this $400 and earn a decent wage for himself.

    On the other hand, a Transport Board driver en route to Silver Sands is faced with similar competition. However, he does not have to speed, over-load or go “off route” because he operates under different terms and conditions of employment and is guaranteed to receive his wages every week.

    The private PSV system needs to be changed.

    Like

  14. David September 21, 2015 at 2:03 PM #

    All the blame for an unruly PSV sector cannot be placed solely on them. Those responsible for oversight have allowed self interest to take root over the good of all.

    Like

  15. Bush Tea September 21, 2015 at 2:52 PM #

    @ David
    All the blame for an unruly PSV sector cannot be placed solely on them.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    NONE of the blame should be placed on the PSV sector.
    ALL should rightly be placed on the retarded AUTHORITIES who have allowed such open, public and disgusting behaviours to become established in our society.

    Who the hell blames a 5-year-old child for ill-discipline and bad manners.?
    …ain’t it the Damn parents?

    Like

  16. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 3:01 PM #

    @Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 1:51 PM “Is it a bit presumptuous to assume that ALL Indians are of the Muslim faith?”

    I know that some “Indians” are not only not Muslim and but also not Indian.

    They are Bajans just like we and just like a lotta we the only god they serve is the almighty $

    But for those who serve Allah a reminder that Allah is almighty, all knowing, all seeing and just.

    Or as the Christians say about God, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, just and loving

    Like

  17. David September 21, 2015 at 3:12 PM #

    An example of how the PSV has been hijacked is to see those ‘fronting ‘ for Debbie Simpson. A lot of big shots own the PSVS and understand they will get no issues from the insurance companies.

    Like

  18. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 3:26 PM #

    @Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 1:51 PM “Owners of PSVs, such as route taxis, taxis (Z, ZM) and mini-buses (B) have a “rule” whereby drivers must give them a specific amount money per day, and after money for diesel is deducted, the remainder is divided between the driver and conductor accordingly. Some owners request between $400 to $500 per day. I used to provide bookkeeping services for an owner of a PSV”

    My question is not whether or not there is a $400 to $00 a day rule on a Monday to Thursday takings for the owner and Friday Saturday for the driver.

    My questions are about whether the current rules make economic sense for the owners, the operators and the commuters?

    I believe that there are built in injustices in the system…and that the government as regulator has failed owners, operators, and commuters by not crafting and enforcing sensible JUST regulations.

    Just for everybody owners, operators, and commuters

    I’ve never done ZR book keeping, but I am probably the only one on this blog who has taken public transport, that is Transport Board buses, taxis, ZR vans, yellow buses and aircraft in Barbados and multiple different jurisdictions virtually everyday for 46 years.

    I see what works well. I see the failures.

    Like

  19. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 3:28 PM #

    Correction: My question is not whether or not there is a $400 to $500 a day rule, or a Monday to Thursday takings for the owner, and Friday Saturday takings for the operators…

    Like

  20. Colonel Buggy September 21, 2015 at 3:28 PM #

    An $800 fine for wearing slippers to drive a public service vehicle, and the driver and some of us are question the fairness of that fine ? It has nothing to do with the dress code, but more to do with the potential risk imposed to passengers of that vehicle and/or other road users.

    Like

  21. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 3:35 PM #

    @Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 1:51 PM “The private PSV system needs to be changed.”

    Agreed.

    Like

  22. Due Diligence September 21, 2015 at 3:47 PM #

    A bit off topic; but watch out for UBER to arrive in Barbados.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber_(company)

    Uber launched its service in Nairobi, Kenya, on January 21, 2015

    Can Barbados be far behind?

    Like

  23. Hants September 21, 2015 at 3:56 PM #

    Artaxerxes wrote “revenue from Monday to Thursday belonged to him and the revenue for Fridays and Saturdays was distributed between the driver and conductor.”

    How many laws did the owner break other than conspiring to avoid taxation etc. etc. ? Don’t you find it appalling that a person has to work for 4 days and hope to make a wage in the other three?

    David wrote “A lot of big shots own the PSVS and understand they will get no issues from the insurance companies.”

    The drivers and conductors live in a country with high unemployment. They owners are well aware of the state of the economy. I doan have to read an spell fuh wunna.

    And wunna wonder why Westbury cemetery was the scene of a movie today. Gunfight in de graveyard.

    Like

  24. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 4:07 PM #

    Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 3:26 PM #

    “My questions are about whether the current rules make economic sense for the owners, the operators and the commuters?”

    Unfortunately, there seems to be no set rules governing the private PSV sector, and as such, owners apparently “dictate their own pace” by making up rules that are conducive to their operations and beneficial to them.

    The people who stand to lose are the drivers and conductors, who in an effort to meet the daily quota and earn a decent wage, have to breach road traffic regulations and hustle to solicit passengers. When they are caught and have accumulated a number of infractions, they are faced with (1) heavy fines, (2) banned from driving, (3) incarcerated or (4) all of the above.

    Passengers are subjected to terrible driving, rude behaviour, overcrowding and loud, lewd music, (which is played to attract the younger passengers).

    Like

  25. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 4:16 PM #

    How quickly we have forgotten that it was private sector led injustices and government complacency and collusion which led to the rebellions in the 1930’s

    In the 1930’s none of the landowners actually worked in the hot sun planting, weeding, cutting, tying and loading sugar cane. None worked in the furnaces of the sugar factories. But those who owned and managed the sugar-lands and their wives and children [who did no manner of work] of the owners and managers lived very well off those who laboured in the hot sun and hot factories. The government of the day was made up of sugar estate owners, agents of sugar owners and those who colluded with owners and ignored systemic injustices in the sugar industry.

    Until the workers rebelled.

    As it is today we are lucky that it is only ZR operators who are rebelling.

    We live in funny times.

    Like

  26. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 4:22 PM #

    @Hants September 21, 2015 at 3:56 PM” Don’t you find it appalling that a person has to work for 4 days and hope to make a wage in the other three?”

    Other 2 days Hants, not 3. Because the passenger load is very, very ight on Sundays. One or 2 elderly church ladies and a few, very very few young mothers taking their children to Sunday school. It is hardy worth while for a ZR crew to come out on Sundays

    Like

  27. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 4:26 PM #

    @Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 4:07 PM “Unfortunately, there seems to be no set rules governing.”

    So what is the Minister of Transport, the Ministry responsible for Transportation and the Transport Authority doing again?

    Those guys get paid right?

    So what value are we the tax paying/commuting public getting for our hard earned money?

    Like

  28. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 4:34 PM #

    @Colonel Buggy September 21, 2015 at 3:28 PM “An $800 fine for wearing slippers to drive a public service vehicle, and the driver and some of us are question the fairness of that fine?

    But Colonel this is the same Barbados in which a sitting Cabinet Minister (I think that he was a BLP wun that time) can curse and threaten a policeman who catches him driving while drunk, and this is the same Barbados where what should have been a criminal case never sees the light of day.

    But we like um so.

    Until the time comes…

    Like

  29. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 4:45 PM #

    Hants September 21, 2015 at 3:56 PM #

    “Artaxerxes wrote “revenue from Monday to Thursday belonged to him and the revenue for Fridays and Saturdays was distributed between the driver and conductor.”
    “How many laws did the owner break other than conspiring to avoid taxation etc. etc. ? Don’t you find it appalling that a person has to work for 4 days and hope to make a wage in the other three?”

    Hants, your question: “How many laws did the owner break other than conspiring to avoid taxation etc. etc?” is indicative of your lack of knowledge of this situation.

    For your information, before PSV owners can renew their road taxes, they must apply to the BRA (formerly Inland Revenue) for a tax clearance certificate.

    Before this certificate is issued, applicants MUST SATISFY the BRA that they filed income tax returns for the previous year and they tax status is current. Under a similar process they must also apply to the National Insurance Department for a NIS certificate as well.

    So, to imply that an operator “conspired to avoid taxation” is erroneous.

    As it relates to the system of payment I previously described, surely you must agree that Fridays and Saturdays are “lucrative days” to ply any route, since there is a significant increase in “passenger traffic” on these days.

    During the week people usually go straight home. However, on Fridays people would travel to the city to buy groceries; lime and drink some drinks; visit the whore houses to get a “lap dance” and make a few hookers happy; or just “to blow some bubbles and spread joy,” among other things

    Similar activities occur on Saturdays as well. People would travel to the city to shop, buy groceries, pay bills or lime. Some would travel to other places that would otherwise be inconvenient for them to visit during the week, to lime or conduct business, etc.

    Previously, the popular method of remuneration was to pay the driver 25 cents in every $1, while the conductor would receive 5 cents.The owner felt that his system was not only advantageous to him but fair to the crew as well.

    Like

  30. Dompey September 21, 2015 at 4:55 PM #

    Colonel Buggy

    How would the authories who imposed the $800 dollar ticket on this driver know whether or not slippers poses a threat to the public safety unless there were precedents?

    Now it would be of great interest to ascertain what probable cause the police officer had when he stopped this driver an ticketed him?

    The issue of driving public transportation clad slippers seems more like Human Resources problem to me whether than a traffic infraction.

    A good lawyer would easily beat this case in court because having been privy to the adversarial relationship between these drivers and the police, I would surmise that the $800 dollar ticket was motivated by a vendetta.

    Like

  31. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM #

    Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 4:26 PM #

    “So what is the Minister of Transport, the Ministry responsible for Transportation and the Transport Authority doing again? Those guys get paid right? So what value are we the tax paying/commuting public getting for our hard earned money?”

    Unfortunately, SUCCESSIVE BLP and DLP administrations have allowed the private PSV sector to be “law unto themselves.” When there is a serious accident or complaints from passengers, government would respond by applying “knee jerk” reactions and the police would come out for a short period of time to enforce the law. After a few months, the status quo reverts to the norm.

    It reminds me of the months leading up to the Christmas period. Every year the police would hold a press conference to inform the public of their “Operation Yule Tide” in the City, where they plan to exhibit “zero tolerance” to illegal vendors, offering goods for sale on sidewalks or in areas not authorized by the Superintendent of Markets, vending in alleys to obstruct the free flow of traffic, drinking alcohol in the streets and liming.

    The police would enforce these stringent regulations for the first 2 weeks. The vendors will comply, but complain the authorities are preventing “the poor Black man from trying to make a dollar.” After week 3, the status quo remains the same.

    Are there no laws to govern vendors and PSV workers, since they are allowed to do as they please?

    Like

  32. Hants September 21, 2015 at 5:25 PM #

    @Artaxerxes thanks for your clarification.

    There is something wrong with this “trickle down” employment situation.

    IMHO the driver and conductor were being abused and don’t tell me about finding another job because job opportunities in Barbados are few.

    Like

  33. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 5:28 PM #

    During the 1976 election campaign, Barrow’s gimmick was to replace the system of paying bus fares according to distance travelled or per “stage,” with paying 25 cents to travel on all routes.

    Perhaps this was the genesis of the problems we are currently experiencing.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ Hants

    No problem.

    Like

  34. Clark Kent September 21, 2015 at 5:36 PM #

    Bush Tea enlightens us with the eternal brilliance of his gorgeous mind, September 21, 2015 at 2:52 PM:

    “NONE of the blame should be placed on the PSV sector. ALL should rightly be placed on the retarded AUTHORITIES … Who the hell blames a 5-year-old child for ill-discipline and bad manners.? …ain’t it the Damn parents?”

    No, dickhoad, it isn’t the randomly capitalized Damn parents. Anyone with any sense blames a five year-old for indiscipline, and then disciplines the child so that he learns not to be unruly. What do you want to do, dick, spank parents?

    Of course, a real dickhoad would lash the kids with the cat, hang the parents, and then write a piss-poor and wearyingly unfunny article about it for money.

    Like

  35. balance September 21, 2015 at 6:09 PM #

    I am of the view that the Government should not be in the business of dictating what fares the PSV’s should charge. That should be the business of the Fair trading commission when all the facts are taken into consideration and I am sure that operating costs and not indiscipline would be the main factor in deciding whether an increase is justified or not. Perhaps more people would be inclined to travel on the government buses if the PSV’s were allowed to increase their fees because we bajans like a freeness or better yet the best for less.

    Like

  36. balance September 21, 2015 at 6:31 PM #

    “David September 21, 2015 at 2:03 PM #

    All the blame for an unruly PSV sector cannot be placed solely on them. Those responsible for oversight have allowed self interest to take root over the good of all.”

    The indiscipline in the PSV sector took root in the initial stages of the development of the sector when Mr Tom Adams nationalised the transport system drove the private concessionaires like Rocklyn, Federal , Progressive and Lucas to name a few off the road and allowed prominent persons with political connections and access to capital to become successful entrepreneurs overnight due to the the fierce and unregulated competition fuelled by a do as you please mentality to make as much as you can in as short a time as possible. At the time I thought that it would have been politically and humanely correct to create an environment whereby the displaced drivers and conductors would have been encouraged and given the opportunity to use their severance to invest in the new transport venture.

    Like

  37. Dompey September 21, 2015 at 8:12 PM #

    Balance

    Is the Fair Trading Commission independent of governmental oversight? If the Fair Trading Commission act within the prescriptive mandates of government, what different would it make whether or not government dictates fares?

    Like

  38. Bush Tea September 21, 2015 at 8:30 PM #

    Unfortunately, SUCCESSIVE BLP and DLP administrations have allowed the private PSV sector to be “law unto themselves.” When there is a serious accident or complaints from passengers, government would respond by applying “knee jerk” reactions and the police would come out for a short period of time to enforce the law. After a few months, the status quo reverts to the norm.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Exactly!

    So now arguing that an increase in bus fare is unwarranted because of ‘illegal and disruptive’ behaviour cannot be a serious argument by a government minister.

    -Why were banks allowed to reduce interest on deposits to zero and charge whatever user fees they feel like? …because these are wealthy foreigners?
    – Why can fLOW and sLime charge whatever they like to the same bajan public?
    – Why can Stinkliar increase taxes whenever HE feels like it ..to subsidise the Transport Board and Bizzy…
    …but local businessmen must have their rates dictated to them?

    One would think that if the PSV rates were increased it would redound to increased load factors for the Transport Board …assuming that THEY maintained these current fares that the Minister seems to favour…
    This sounds like the same logic used to sell the recent government bonds – Is it that the minister has no similar problem with the banks increasing rates because different people own them..?

    Like

  39. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 8:55 PM #

    balance September 21, 2015 at 6:31 PM #

    “The indiscipline in the PSV sector took root in the initial stages of the development of the sector when Mr Tom Adams nationalised the transport system drove the private concessionaires like Rocklyn, Federal , Progressive and Lucas to name a few off the road…..”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I do not believe your above comments are correct, Balance.

    In 1955 the then government took over the operations of eight private bus companies comprising a total fleet of 116 Omni buses. “This process of change had started after a number of the companies, which were then licensed by Highways and Transport, put forward claims for increased fares on January 31, 1955.”

    In 1978 the then Tom Adams led BLP administration took over the operations of the two remaining private concessionaires, Rocklyn and Elite Bus Companies.

    We have to bear in mind that people began to move from the traditional villages into the new housing developments that were being established across the island, (which inadvertently created “new routes).”

    The current mini bus era began with ordinary individuals who operated illegal sources of transportation to take advantage of the Transport Board’s inability to provide an adequate bus service to meet the needs of an increasing travelling population.

    This new “transport sector” was eventually legalized by the government in 1976. Remember, these vans operated with ordinary vehicle numbers before being registered as route taxis (ZR) in the late 1980s.
    The traditional “open back pick-up” was gradually phased out because owners invested in the Toyota Coasters and subsequently the Leyland and Hino model mini buses.

    Like

  40. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 9:37 PM #

    As it relates to the remaining private concessionaires, if we were to logically analyze their initial decline, we could safely conclude that it can be attributed to Barrow’s regulating the bus fare to a standard 25 cents for all routes.

    For example, Rocklyn operated for a number of years on predominately St. Andrew routes and benefited from the stage fare system, whereby passengers would pay the corresponding fare for the distance travelled. Rocklyn had an aging fleet comprising of early 1960s model buses.

    To operate in an environment where there has been a sudden decrease in income, while all other variables remain constant (e.g. operating expenses, wages, taxes, etc.), would have presented some difficulty for “Miss Rock.”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Bush Tea September 21, 2015 at 8:30 PM #

    “So now arguing that an increase in bus fare is unwarranted because of ‘illegal and disruptive’ behaviour cannot be a serious argument by a government minister.”

    My point exactly, Bushie. That is “ludicrous logic.”

    Bushie, don’t forget that after being prohibited by the Supervisor of Insurance in August 2009 from selling new policies, Leroy admitted he contravened the order by selling new policies. Leroy forged an invoice to receive partial payment and sued the company for the balance.

    Leroy’s behavior is tantamount to “illegal and disruptive behavior” and was described as a non-leper friend, while having the protection of the government.

    Only ‘bout hay, Bushie……… only ‘bout hay.

    Like

  41. Gabriel September 21, 2015 at 9:56 PM #

    Arta
    When you mentioned eight concessionaires I think in 1955 there were more.All told as I recall there were:Leeward,National,Central,General,Progressive,Liberty,Diamond,
    Lincoln,Yonkers,Rocklyn,St George,Blades Hill,Boston…..a total of 13.The Rocklyn and those which grouped into the Elite remained private as you indicated.

    Like

  42. Colonel Buggy September 21, 2015 at 10:05 PM #

    Dumpy, Bro ,as a man who has been around ‘Strict A police station, I am surprised of your reaction to the wearing of slippers by a PSV driver.
    Barbados Road Traffic Regulations ; Regulation number 43 (1)
    A driver or conductor of a public service vehicle plying for hire on a public road
    (f) Shall be suitably attired and wear BOOTS, SHOES, or SANDALS and such other apparel as the Licensing Authority approves.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 10:10 PM #

    Nothing wrong with a flat rate busfare as public transportation can be regarded as partly a social service and as our wages are paid and our incomes are taxed without regard to whether we live in town or at River Bay. But if we have a flat rate busfare then those vehicles which run the long haul routes deserve a subsidy.

    It does not matter much now what Barrow did or what Tom did. They are long dead and gone.

    What matters is what we do now.

    Like

  44. Colonel Buggy September 21, 2015 at 10:52 PM #

    I must agree with one PSV operator. The roads of Barbados for which we are heavily taxed to operate a vehicle on, are very badly maintained , having deep pot holes and patch -upon-patch ridges,which do untold damages to the tyres ,suspension, steerring and braking parts of many vehicles . We are further given a second kick up our behinds, when we have to purchase replacement parts ,and like a Dick Turpin type highway bandit, the government demands a 17 %VAT charge on these items. The treasury is better off with MTW not repairing the road network. And a network it surely is ,…. a series of holes joined together with bits of tar.
    Perhaps government ,until it is able to fix the roads,should consider reducing the VAT payable on the above mentioned components.

    Like

  45. Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 10:54 PM #

    Gabriel September 21, 2015 at 9:56 PM #

    “When you mentioned eight concessionaires I think in 1955 there were more. All told as I recall there were: Leeward, National, Central, General, Progressive, Liberty, Diamond, Lincoln, Yonkers, Rocklyn, St George, Blades Hill, Boston…..a total of 13.The Rocklyn and those which grouped into the Elite remained private as you indicated.

    Although they may have been 13 as you mentioned, but according to my research, in 1955 the government took over 8 private bus companies. Reports also indicate that the St. George Bus Company was incorporated into Elite. You could also read an article written by Amanda Lynch-Foster entitled: “What ever happened to the private bus companies”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 10:10 PM #

    “It does not matter much now what Barrow did or what Tom did. They are long dead and gone. What matters is what we do now.”

    That is your opinion, nothing wrong with that. However, I am looking at the bus services from a BUSINESS point of view and how certain policies may have negatively affected operations.

    “I Imagine if you learn from your past mistakes and experiences and apply this to your new experiences, the outcome should be vastly different. You can indeed use the past quite nicely to shape your future direction, as long as you make the distinction between using the past to improve the future or simply reliving the past.” [Think, Act, Grow, by David Coppi]

    Like

  46. Simple Simon September 21, 2015 at 11:39 PM #

    Point taken.

    Like

  47. Dompey September 22, 2015 at 3:43 AM #

    Colonel Buddy

    My only question is how did this police officer established the probable cause to stop this driver?

    The only possible way the police officer could have done it if he or she sat and observed the driver getting behind the wheel of the vehicle with these slippers, or he was stopped prior for some minor traffic infraction upon the discovery of the slippers.

    In any event Cclonel, I would be the first to admit that I have little or no knowledge as it related to the traffic-ordinances in Barbados, but I don’t see how operating a vehicle while wearing slippers would constituted a threat to the public safety if there is any real precedent to established this reality?

    A lot of these antiquated traffic as well as criminal laws need to be revisited, and just because a law is on the books that doesn’t make it a sound law.

    Listen! If am paying taxes to operate my vehicle on the road, I ought to be able drive in whatever makes me feel comfortable, so long as it has proven by the public record to endanger the public safety.

    And probable Bush Tea would argue that I am appealing to ignorance, but if am paying taxes to operate my vehicle on the streets of Barbados, I ought to be at liberty to operate it in a dress if I so desire, and if it has been proven by the public record to be safe.

    Like

  48. balance September 22, 2015 at 4:00 AM #

    Thanks Arta for pointing out what you consider as inaccuracies in my submission but I am still of the view speaking from what i observed that the indiscipline started during the Adams era with the complete phasing out of the private concessionaires and not with ordinary individuals -like the bony man from the Pine regarded by some as the pioneer of the PSV culture- who operated illegal sources of transportation to take advantage of the Transport Board’s inability to provide an adequate bus service to meet the needs of an increasing travelling population.

    Like

  49. Dompey September 22, 2015 at 4:39 AM #

    Listen! Operating a vehicle while texting poses a greater danger to the public safety, than some guy trying to make an honest living while wearing whats make him feels comfortable, the statistics are there to support such reality. So the $800 dollar ticket is ridiculous bullshit and reflects a penal/ judicial system in want of review.

    Like

  50. Dompey September 22, 2015 at 5:18 AM #

    Here is an idea which can obviously improve the existing public transportation system in Barbados, if it hasn’t already been thought of.

    My state just added to its transit system a concept called Quick Track ( feel free to go to Ct. Gov for further information) and what this entails is a fleet of buses specifically designed to get the public to its point of desire quicker than the regular bus service would.

    And all it does it to stop at designed stops and not every stop along the route as the regular bus would. I have taken in the “Fast Track” in the past and can assure you that it got me to my destination in record time.

    Like

  51. Dompey September 22, 2015 at 6:22 AM #

    Colonel Buggy

    I don’t care what the law entails, it has to make sense to me in order for me to understand its true purpose and aim.

    Listen! Because someone said long ago that black compliments white and white can go with any colour that I am going to accept it at face-value without first exercising my individual judgment in choosing to wear pink and yellow.

    Have you read the Obeah laws which were or are still on the books in Barbados? Perhaps, if you haven’t read them yet you to ought because their were enacted by intelligent people who would be viewed today as rather superstitious to enacted such nonesense.

    And lastly, one has to challenge proventionalism and the conformity to the established customs and practices of his or her given society in order for there to be an advancement as well as a movement towards progress in the human affairs.

    Like

  52. David September 22, 2015 at 6:40 AM #

    @Dompey

    Give it rest nuh!

    If you don’t get it why a driver should not wear slippers driving a public service vehicle you have no credibility. A simple observation by a passenger while disembarking the bus could lead to a police call. You have your points give others a chance to respond. The objective of a forum like BU is the benefit of interactions not monologues.

    Like

  53. Gabriel September 22, 2015 at 9:31 AM #

    I got my drivers license years ago and was given a pep talk by the Supt W Forde.In his debriefing he informed me and others assembled,in the customary way an experienced teacher would instruct a student,that it was an offence to drive unshod and worse to drive in slippers.Slippers attach themselves to the most unlikely places.Walking in slippers is the cause of many a fall,a broken hip or arm.These are dangerous things.

    Like

  54. Bush Tea September 22, 2015 at 9:42 AM #

    Shiite man Gabriel
    Dompey just playing the ass… He must know that…

    Wuh even his ‘family’ (Equus asinus domesticus) goes to work only when properly shod….
    That is what blacksmiths are for….🙂

    Like

  55. Dompey September 22, 2015 at 10:55 AM #

    Bush Tea

    It is funny how you made mentioned of the blacksmith because I actually worked with a police blacksmith as a young lad, and he now reposed in the celestial sphere somewhere out there in the Great Beyound.

    Like

  56. Simple Simon September 22, 2015 at 2:43 PM #

    Dear Dompey:

    Slippers can slip off at the most unfortunate times. That is why they ar called slippers. Because they slip. We don’ want a bus driver scrambling for his slippers when he should have his foot firmly on the brake. Driving in slippers may in an emergency cause an even worse emergency and people may DIE.

    Get it?

    Like

  57. Colonel Buggy September 22, 2015 at 6:01 PM #

    Even worst than wearing slippers , is to see a lady one day in high heels , the enclosed type , or what ever they called them, driving a Ford 250 truck. When she dismounted, she could have hardly walked in them. If you cannot control a pair of shoes, how well could you manage a powerful 4×4 pickup.
    And the question of being against the law to drive in slippers, seem not to apply to our neighbours in Kensington new Road et al.

    Like

  58. Frustrated Businessman September 23, 2015 at 8:11 AM #

    Barbados gov’t competes against its own taxpayers in several areas of business on unfair terms.

    Transport Board gets duty-free buses and duty-free diesel, private sector should too.

    The only reason the Transport Board exists is for vote-buying, lacky-ism and teefing.

    GOV’T HAS NO BUSINESS IN BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  59. Sunshine Sunny Shine September 23, 2015 at 8:19 AM #

    Artaxerxes September 21, 2015 at 12:37 PM #

    ”I agree with your general comments, but not necessarily with your assessment that the private PSV sector is “90% owned by prominent persons.”

    If prominent persons with influence are not the owners Artaxerxes, how do you justify the lawlessness on the roads that have been allowed to continue for decades by those who can easily put a stop to it? How do you also account for the fact that a number of the road traffic violations are squashed by a single phone call to a police sargeant friend or higher. I know this for a fact. If the Indian community is now the dominant group owing these fans, and their terms of employment and payment are the contributing factors to reckless driving seen on the streets, why have the authorities not clamp down on a system that is endangering the lives of the commuter or innocent bystander. The Indian community can be considered prominence because they reel a significant amount of influence. And since money has a tendency of perverting rules and regulations and, also tends to put the brakes ever so often on enforcement, then one can conclude that prominence are stakeholders who are basically hindering the process of correction by not doing what is necessary to deal with the PSV road use because to stop the system would not be beneficial to their waiting pockets.

    Like

  60. Artaxerxes September 23, 2015 at 10:22 AM #

    @ SSS

    I do not disagree that vans are owned by “prominent people”, but you must realize that the Barbadian society is one that thrives on “kick backs” or “greasing the palms.” Just pass some money to get a favour done. It’s all about knowing “the right people in the right places.”

    There are policemen who own PSVs whose drivers are not reported by other policemen. I know of a youngster who used to drive a “ZR” belonging to a policeman that plied the Silver Hill route. He said because of heavy traffic and to get ahead of his competitors he diverted and exited the road where the Sargeant’s Village playing field is located. A policeman on a motorcycle approached the van, looked at the number and turned around to proceed in the opposite direction.
    If that van had belonged to me or the man on the “Cream of Wheat” box that policeman would have reported the driver.

    I have seen the name “Kenneth Best” as the owner of ZRs plying “Route 7 – Howells & Ivy and “Route 3 – Wansted.” I have also seen him conducting on one of his a Wansted vans.

    PSVs are also owned by civil servants and other individuals who may be seen as ordinary citizens, but they know the “right people in the right places.”
    I have mentioned in a previous post that there are some people who, because they have a friend in Inland Revenue, are able to obtain a tax clearance certificate without filing an income tax return.
    They may also have a friend at the Ministry of Transport who, for a small fee, would ensure the vehicle passes inspection. And this is evident by the condition of some of the PSVs on the road, which makes one wonder “how the hell did that vehicle passed inspection.”

    Enfield Forde was a man who owned a number of PSVs. A few years ago one of his sons, while driving B147 along Kendall Hill, hit a taxi car. The owner of the taxi got out of the vehicle to inspect the damage as well as Forde’s son, who, on telling the man he saw no damage, returned to the bus and left the accident scene. The “taxi man” called the police and when they arrived he told them what had transpired. On mentioning the name “Forde” the police told the “taxi man” “guh home and rest yuh self.”

    These are things that happen in this island. I am from the ghetto……. I grew up there, not in the “heights and terraces”………..I know things.

    Like

  61. Sunshine Sunny Shine September 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

    @Artaxerxes

    As I said, prominence own the vans one way or the other. This is a problem that cannot be easily fixed when there is a stream line of beneficiaries who are connected to the PSV operations. Insurance companies are the only ones who have sought to make a move against the madness of these operators on the roads only because, or probably due to the fact, that there is not enough money in this sector by which a compromise. could be had. The truth of the matter is: how would you know who the owners are if the vehicles are registered in someone else’s name.

    Like

  62. Frustrated Businessman September 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM #

    When the Transport Board is dissolved and all bus routes in Barbados awarded at annual auctions for five-year terms, we’ll see ‘free and fair’ competition once again.

    Like

  63. Colonel Buggy September 23, 2015 at 1:08 PM #

    Frustrated Businessman September 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM #
    You me revert to what it was before September 17 ,1955?

    Like

  64. Colonel Buggy September 23, 2015 at 1:09 PM #

    That should read “mean’

    Like

  65. Frustrated Businessman September 23, 2015 at 3:29 PM #

    No Colonel, I mean revert to less gov’t meddling in things they don’t understand, less awarding of profitable routes to their lacky friends, less wasting of taxpayer money on statutory corporations just to employ voters and teef money on gov’t contracts.

    Everyone knows some routes are profitable and some are not. Everyone knows profitable route permits trade for as much as $300,000 going to the ‘owner’ who was awarded it by a gov’t friend for next to nothing. Everyone knows the Transport Board is a money pit. Everyone knows the Transport Board is competing unfairly with the private sector.

    Disband the Transport Board.
    Divide up the routes into five groups.
    Every year publicly auction the one group of routes to the highest bidder. Some routes will bring a positive bid, some might bring a negative (i.e. Gov’t would pay operators annually on unprofitable routes). Routes go with duty-free bus and diesel permits.
    Use existing inspectors to report bad behaviour and deal with drivers/owners harshly including taking away their routes.

    This is not rocket science, it is common sense. We don’t employ common sense to run BDS, we employ corruption; there is invariably a non-sensible, corrupt reason for decisions being made.

    Like

  66. David September 23, 2015 at 3:34 PM #

    Didn’t the Transport Authority promise to auction the routes a couple years ago?

    Like

  67. Colonel Buggy September 24, 2015 at 4:20 PM #

    What really is the role and function of the Transport Authority. We keep focusing with both eyes on the Public Service Vehicles, Transport Board Buses excluded, and are allowing other types of motorists and road users in general, to get away with murder on our roadways.
    Picture this . Two night ago 8.30 PM. in a built up area with poor street lighting. I overtook a parked car on the left side of the road,and as I got level with the parked car,I was confronted by two scrambler motorcycles, riding side by side, with no sort of lighting attached. Is this what this country has come to, where everyone appears to ignore the law of the land, and from all account are given the go ahead by the authorities, who surely has observed what is happening, but prefers to turn a blind eye.

    Like

  68. Bush Tea September 24, 2015 at 7:34 PM #

    Wait…
    Wunna ever check WHO are appointed on these ‘authorities’ /Boards/ commissions?

    steupsss…
    These are political handouts…..PERIOD!!

    Like

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